Nintendo has finally unveiled its new gaming console, the Nintendo Switch.
Codenamed as the Nintendo NX, the Nintendo Switch blew our minds with its teaser trailer, revealing that it is both a home console and handheld portable, unlike anything we’ve seen before from a major hardware developer.
The Switch comes with a docking station to play games on your television, with the option of using either a ‘Pro’ controller – which looks similar to an Xbox controller – or a Joy-con one. The latter allows you to split each side and connect them with the device, which slips out and seamlessly transitions your gameplay from television to handheld device.
Now, even though the trailer looked amazing and sent the Internet into a frenzy, trailers can often be misleading and don’t always contain all the information we need to assess the console against its competitors.
Here are 5 factors that will make or break the Nintendo Switch.
1) Battery life
This one’s a biggie. We are so obsessed with battery life in our mobile devices today that Samsung pushed its Note7 so hard, and it started exploding.
If the Switch has a portable option, its battery life needs to exceed at least 8 hours for it to have any meaningful in a real-life situation.
Anything less and the Switch in portable mode could very well be obsolete even before it launches.
It has just been confirmed that the Switch will be powered by a custom Tegra processor with an Nvidia GPU within it.
It’ll be interesting to see how the processor performance varies between docked and portable modes, and how that may affect battery life.
I doubt users would mind if the device under-clocks when its on the move to preserve battery life, as long as it doesn’t ruin gameplay or reduce its frame rate by less than 30 fps.
3) Availability of games
Nintendo published a list of 48 third party software developers that will be supporting the device, from big names like EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Activision and Capcom.
However, while these developers may be producing games for the Switch, it doesn’t mean the device will get its full attention. The Wii U suffered from a lack of third party support, but when third party games were made for it, there was a severe lack of DLCs and updates that were available for Xbox One and PS4 users.
We also had a glimpse of Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch trailer. While this a huge plus for Nintendo and Skyrim fans, we must remember that the game is nearly five years old. There’s no point buying a console that only plays outdated games.
4) Prominence in eSports
The final scene in the Nintendo Switch trailer showcased an eSports arena with teams battling in a game of Splatoon. The trailer had a really cool scene where each gamer placed their own Nintendo Switch device into the docking station.
Nintendo’s resurgence into the gaming industry would really have a shot in the arm if it could build a strong presence in the eSports scene. And it appears, with this trailer, that the Switch was built with eSports in mind; a good move by Nintendo.
Last by not least, there’s price. If the Nintendo Switch can get all its specs right, it could truly be a game changer in the industry. But there’ll be little to it if no one buys it, especially if the majority of games these days depend on online multiplayer.
Nintendo has to get its price right.
Will users be willing to pay the same amount for it as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Some may argue that its two devices in one and so technically it’s buying two consoles for the price of one. Others on the other hand might feel that in its most powerful state (in the docking station), its still not as capable as the other major consoles.
Nintendo needs to find that sweet spot that will unlock dollars and make sure the device gets into as many living rooms as possible.